Inside The Great Debate Over Using TikTok To Diagnose Yourself With ADHD

Some folks have a knee-jerk adverse reaction to young people diagnosing themselves with different neurological or physical conditions through apps or social media like Tik Tok. There is even a heated debate under the self-diagnosis hashtag in the Tik Tok app itself. 

For example, this creator non-judgmentally considers self-diagnosis. This user demonstrates the inherent irony created by commercials made for big pharmaceutical companies.

While receiving a precise diagnosis from your doctor can be a complicated process, advertisements on TV ask you to essentially self-diagnose X Y and Z conditions.

They ask if you’ve experienced a list of symptoms, then say something along the lines of, “if you are suffering from ___, you should talk to your doctor about ___.”

These ads imply that patients should ask to receive “this specific brand of this specific medication,” yet, our culture dictates that when it’s time for a clinical diagnosis, “it’s unfathomable that we might have some insight into which diagnostic criteria we meet.”

These commercials ask you to bring your self-assessment to your doctor in the hopes that they’ll prescribe you the same medication that helped this TV mom with migraines “get back to her life.”

Cue: Mom running through flowery fields with her children and golden retriever. 

In the specific case of ADHD, there has been a considerable amount of disagreement on the uptick of folks on Tik Tok believing they have undiagnosed ADHD.

There has been a gendered element of the debate since young girls are diagnosed with ADHD less often than their male counterparts because of a difference in outward presentation. 

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